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Jun 10, 2010

Whelan: Interest payments will affect United

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is concerned that Sir Alex Ferguson might be restricted in the transfer market because of the Glazers' massive interest repayments at Manchester United.

• Whelan: Glazers would sell for £1.5bn
• Panorama raises debt fears

Whelan is a close friend of Ferguson, as well as an avid United fan, and he appeared on Panorama this week to comment on the Glazer family and the debt they have placed on the club.

Despite claims that the club's financial situation will not impact on their spending power, Whelan is unconvinced, telling Soccernet: "I don't accept that is fully the case.

"The interest repayments have got to impact somewhere. Whatever the restrictions Sir Alex has to put up with, he still manages to produce fabulous football teams. there is only one Sir Alex - he is simply the best."

On Panorama, Whelan is quoted as saying: "I don't think anybody can be satisfied with how Manchester United are being run because we're talking of three-quarters of a billion pounds of debt. That can't be the right thing to do and cannot be the right thing for professional football in the UK."

But Whelan is not actually opposed to the American ownership of United, and does not feel that visible protests from the club's supporters are productive.

Whelan told Soccernet: "I don't think the Glazers' personal debts in the States has anything to do with Manchester United, if you ask my opinion. I don't think the Glazers interfere with Manchester United or with Sir Alex Ferguson on how he runs the team, and I don't think they interfere with David Gill, who is a very good chief executive.

"Sir Alex and David Gill work closely together and have proved to be very successful. Unlike Liverpool, where the two American owners also have debt and large repayments on the interest, Manchester United have won virtually everything under the Glazers in the five or six years they have been in charge. Yes, I can appreciate why Liverpool fans are up in arms because supporters won't be happy if their team are not successful on the pitch.

"But that is not the case at Old Trafford, where every year under the Glazers they have brought home a trophy and won the league a couple of times, and that is no mean feat, so I am not sure it is a good thing for the fans to show so much dissent, and so I am not so keen on the gold and green scarves, I am not sure that is helpful to the club.

"The Glazers have bought the club at a time that no one else was bidding to buy it, and yes they have borrowed money to do that, and the club have £800 million worth of borrowings and I don't think that is a healthy situation for one minute.

"But the Glazers are the owners, the club belongs to them however much the supporters might object, so my advice to them is to get on with it as it is not good for the club to continually oppose the owners."

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